skip to main content

Royal Navy rotates warships in Red Sea

UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond. (Gordon Brodie)

The UK Royal Navy (RN) Daring (Type 45)-class destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) is returning to the Red Sea to replace Duke (Type 23)-class frigate HMS Richmond (F 239), the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 12 March.

Diamond previously operated in the Red Sea from December 2023 as part of the US-led Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian' to protect ships against attacks by Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (popularly known as the Houthis), and then sailed to replenish in Gibraltar in February. The RN said it shot down nine unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using its Sea Viper missile system and guns in three separate engagements during that time.

Richmond sailed from Plymouth in January and arrived in the Red Sea in February. The MoD reported that the frigate successfully destroyed two UAVs on 9 March using its Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missiles, the first combat use of the missile system.

“Overnight, Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond and international allies fully repelled a Houthi drone attack, with no injuries or damage sustained,” the MoD said. “The crew of HMS Richmond acted in an exemplary manner, shooting down two drones using Sea Ceptor missiles.”

In a separate post, the MoD published images from Richmond's action, including a missile launch and images from the frigate's command centre, confirming it was the first combat use of the Sea Ceptor by a Type 23 frigate. UK Secretary of Defence Grant Shapps also posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) of the engagement that was likely filmed by Richmond's electro-optical systems.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...